Niles teen delivers 300+ tree saplings on Earth Day

Published 10:43 am Friday, April 26, 2024

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NILES — To celebrate Earth Day, Niles High School senior Sawyer Lundberg handed out more than 300 tree saplings across Berrien County Monday as part of the teen’s self-created environmental outreach program called Trees Across Berrien County. 

Since 2022 Lundberg’s Trees Across Berrien has distributed more than 700 trees to Niles High School, Eastside Connections, Northside Child Development Center, St. Mary’s School, Howard-Ellis Elementary, Cassopolis Ross Beatty High School and the towns of Buchanan, Coloma, Edwardsburg, Berrien Springs, River Valley, Watervliet, Dowagiac and South Bend, Ind. to make a regional impact.

On Earth Day,  Lundberg read a children’s book he authored last summer called Harry’s Trees to Eastside Connections kindergartners in Niles and to second graders at Moccassian Elementary in Buchanan.  

“I really enjoyed reading to little kids and seeing their reactions to my story about a little puppy who plants trees to help the environment,” Lundberg said. “I hope the story inspired them to care about the environment and realize they can make a difference regardless of their age or size.” 

Lundberg said he is grateful to Nancy Carpenter with the Berrien Conservation District for generously donating trees each year for the project and to his classmates from the Berrien County Math and Science Center who have helped distribute trees for the last three years. He also said he appreciated area elementary school teachers for allowing him to visit their classrooms and Niles High School principal Michelle Asmus for allowing him to distribute trees to Niles High School teachers and staff. 

“I am so grateful to everyone who helped make this project successful,” Lundberg said.  “I could not have done it alone. It feels great knowing so many trees have been planted all over Berrien County and they will be there for years to come.”